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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterSafety - RC Helis are not toys › I am just getting too old, or what???
04-04-2010 03:30 PM  10 years ago
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J_Cunny

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Austin, Texas

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I am just getting too old, or what???
Ok Guys,

Maybe I'm alright, maybe this is a young guy "Mr. Fearless" hobby and I'm just too old to understand it. The reason that I'm asking here is to find out other opinions so that I can gain perspective and maybe find out the answer.

To start, I'll give a little history/insight about me to preface my question. I'm in my early forties, and have two teenage daughters. I've only been in the hobby about three years, after being a competative scale modeler for over thirty years. I "got the bug" after a business trip to Singapore when I bought a cheap 3 channel Llama "esque" heli. After numerous attempts to morph the thing into something halfway controllable, I broke down and bought an E-Sky HKB which was a true CCPM and finaaly was able to start to learn how to fly a 6 channel bird. This eventually gave way to a 450 (T-Rex SE) , then an other, and yet two more. I know have a total of four. I am still what I would consider a novice, as time is biggest disadvantage and I'mm lucky to get any flight time of any measure. I can hover fairly well and still have the "pucker factor" going on when flying ovals these days.

My question (if you can call it that) is that when I fly I use the local Elementary school atheletic field which is one and only has one road along its fenced in parimeter. I really like to go early (usually 7 am ish) due to the wind conditions and the fact that the field has little wind break in its makeup. I really prefer to fly with nobody around, in the general proximity of the field, sometimes a challenge, and when someone does get close, I try to land it as soon as possible. The field itself would be considered fair sized, as you have the midlle area (in which I fly in) roughly 3/4 of a football filed approx 80 yards I would guess. This area is surrounded by another 10 to 15 feet of field at its shortest point (lengthwise), and another 20-30 feet at its longest (widthwise). So it's a pretty open area mostly free of wires, there is some closest to the school, but I stay well clear of those while flying. I swear however it still seems smalll to me when I'm flying as there are houses accross the road from the school (there is a 5 or 6 foot chain link fence that secludes the field from the road). Again, when I'm flying (or trying to) it still seems small to me. I still have prcrastinated buying my AMA license (I know I'm really, really pushing it). When I'm not there, I use a "hover area" in my back yard 8 foot by 8 foot square area. This is only where I spin her up to check tracking, or to hover test after performing repairs or maintenance. Ok, on to my question...

I paruse this site quite a bit, and have benefitted a great deal from doing so. But more and more I see vids that are posted with people flying in driveways in the suburbs or postage stamp backyards. Now I'm not a "prude", I do understand the need to hover test things from time to time, but these guys are flying full 3D in nieghborhoods, with cars passing by, or parked in the backgound. Not in the distance, but like across the street from the guy. Well, it just floors me.....

Am I too old? Do I not get it? It's just a 450 with carbon blades, spinning at 2000 rpm+, held to together with little screws into carbon or plastic, powered by a temperamental lipo battery... So what's so wrong? It's bulletproof!!!

Did I get into a hobby that I my "old fart/safety" factor just doesn't mesh??? Am I just too scared??? All the time I spent working on real helicopters, and seeing what is possible when things go wrong doesn't have any bearing..it's just a hobby dude..

Sorry guys, I'm again just trying to see if I'm stupid, lame, or just outta touch. Any opinions appreciated.

JC
Austin, Tx

I used to be normal, but then I started flying heli's....
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04-04-2010 03:53 PM  10 years ago
Hate_To_Crash

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Near Lake Tahoe

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You will get used to it and just fly.. I am 49 and hope to do my 1st 3d Comp this year. I am no Curtis Youngblood, but I can hold my own.

The age thing is only an issue when I have to constantly swap my reading glasses for my sunglasses..

Keep at it young guy and keep flying....
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04-04-2010 04:03 PM  10 years ago
Girard Ibanez

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Tucson, Arizona (formally from Guam)

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💎Sustaining Member
What matters is that you are happy enjoying the hobby. It's not what you can't do, it's what you can do. With time you will build a comfort zone for each level as you progress.
Team Thunder Tiger
since 6/2005 to 12/2014
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04-04-2010 04:04 PM  10 years ago
ShuRugal

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Richmond, VA

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as someone mentioned in another thread, the falling price-point of helicopters is simultaneously good and bad for the hobby. It's good because it means people who couldn't afford it now can get their foot in the door. And it's bad because people who don't respect it can drop a few hundred bucks on their CC and get a flying lawnmower.AMA 700159
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04-04-2010 04:12 PM  10 years ago
luz_husband

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Nancy, Kentucky

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As we get older we become more civic minded and tend to care more for others in our community. You being concerned for the safety of others around you is a sign of maturity and responsibility that comes with age and lifes experiences. You are not "too old" for the hobby simply because you think your flying site is too small or that others are flying in confined spaces. I am 45 and still fly in my back yard which is small, but in the head of a hollow and very private.
When you are being placed in the permanent prone position with dirt over you is the day you are too old to fly helis in my book.
Impacting the earth one heli at a time
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04-05-2010 03:11 AM  10 years ago
Cromer

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Germantown, NY

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I understand what you are saying all too well. I see the same videos and wonder the same things. I see people flying in what I consider the worst places possible as far as safety is concerned. I was hurt pretty badly by a heli 2 years ago and my perspective on safety changed forever after that day. I truely believe that alot of people just have no idea how dangerous their actions could be if something goes wrong. There are also just as many who think they are doing nothing unsafe or just really do not care. With all this in mind I made a pact with myself that if I am present when someone is acting or flying in what I consider to be an unsafe manner I will at least try to approach them and talk to them about it. If they are not receptive I will not push the issue because I understand that people have different views on what is or is not safe. I will however do what I need to do to make myself feel safe whether it be keep an eye on that person or at times even leave the field if need be. It has worked well for me and even after being hurt I still enjoy going to fun flys and flying my heli's as much as possible. I am 54 and hope to be doing this when I am 74.

Phil
Phil
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04-05-2010 03:49 AM  10 years ago
thtoyman

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Gone ,Flying.

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Any rc is not bulletproof..
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04-05-2010 05:56 AM  10 years ago
Solmanbandit

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Tucson , AZ

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I look at it this way, I take a few things into account when I fly. First is the size and type of heli I am flying. I am not flying Nitro's or 600's, so I look at the type of places I can fly more plentiful. I have a 400 size heli. I typically fly at the local HOA park or soccer field. I prefer if people aren't around, but if they are and depending where they are at, I will change my flying pattern/area. I have crashed with people at the park, but because I changed what part I flew, it fell where nobody was even close. I am not a AMA member because there is no fields around that I feel is worth being a member. There are more than plenty of places for me to choose from. If I buy a heli/plane that makes feel the need to do so, then I will. Otherwise, I am saving my money for parts.Trex 700E / Trex 500 ESP - Ikon/ HD 500 - Ikon 2/ Goblin 500 Ikon 2
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04-05-2010 11:30 PM  10 years ago
J_Cunny

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Austin, Texas

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Thanks guys! Nice to know that I'm not alone or twisted in my thinking. I do really enjoy the hobby. After spending so many years building static kits it's nice to put something together and actually see it fly.

Best Regards,

JC

BTW, I used to work on these:

I used to be normal, but then I started flying heli's....
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04-06-2010 12:30 AM  10 years ago
Strat135

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Warner Robins, GA/USA

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Totally not on safety but I love the AH-64! Thats cool you work on them! If I would have known 10 years ago that with a few years of college and lots of training I could have flown or been a weapons officer on one, I would have joined the army and tried out for warrent officer instead of joinin the Air Force.

Strat
Do you even know how to fly this thing? NO!! Aww...Crap
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04-06-2010 04:37 AM  10 years ago
helibeast

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Mn

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As we get older we become more civic minded and tend to care more for others in our community.
Very true but also the older we get generally the more we have, and the more we can loose in a law suit. The most I will do in my yard is a 5ft hover. I find a nice empty field to crank and bank. The last time I let strangers watch me fly, they started shouting go higher go higher,and as they were walking away said "It would have been cool to see it crash" I only fly for myself since I,m the only one that has to pay for the repairs.
Champion,Magic,MiniBoy,Xcell60+50,Intrepid,Intrepid Gas,Baron30,Whisper,300X,mCPXv1v2,Concept,Nexus
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04-06-2010 05:25 AM  10 years ago
Jgatorman

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Birmingham, AL

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I seem to be beating a dead horse on this subject but as far as safety goes you should NEVER EVER fly your heli, Trex 250 and up around innocent bystanders. I know I will create a great debate on this but it is selfish and irresponsible to put others at risk who have not willingly accepted that possibility. Meaning no one goes to their public park for recreation to get smacked in the head by someones out of control helicopter. I don't give a sh!t how good or bad of a pilot you are these are electro mechanical devises that have the potential to fail. This is why we have AMA sanctioned fields or at the least a deserted field or area. Yes I know some of the 450's and 250's are considered park flyers but I firmly believe that it should be deserted park flyers. People will continue to fly near, around, in the vicinity..... of others until they injure or kill someone or if they are lucky maybe just a close call. Wake up everyone these things are dangerous I know of 3 DEATHS since I started flying 2 years ago. How many will it take for the masses to understand that these are not toys they are inherently dangerous. I personally enjoy the freedom and lack of regulation on our hobby but the I don't care, I will do as I please until I am forced to do something else attitude is not good for the hobby nor is ignorance and will increase the likelyhood of more stringent regulations. Please be safe and have fun just not at the risk or expense of others.
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04-06-2010 08:01 AM  10 years ago
Solmanbandit

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Tucson , AZ

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You talk about deaths. Can you elaborate on what happened?Trex 700E / Trex 500 ESP - Ikon/ HD 500 - Ikon 2/ Goblin 500 Ikon 2
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04-06-2010 01:39 PM  10 years ago
Jgatorman

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Birmingham, AL

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Yes I can An experienced pilot in texas was trimming a someonelse heli after doing as such he gave back transmitter to said pilot, said pilot lost control and took his chopper right into the throat of the experienced pilot and killed him,2nd a politian in south america hired a pilot for a campaign, said pilot lost control over helicopter crashing into boys skull and killing him,3rd the recent post of young chinese boy killed, Now I am sure that will not satisfy you soloman but hey it is your conscious not mine. These deaths are only the ones I am aware of I have done no research and have not attemped to dig up any other statistics, I am sure there have been others not to mention all of the injuries that have occured. So feel free to tell me how they are isolated and that they rarely happen or this or that, However almost all of them can be avoided. So to anyone flying with Carbon Fiber blades rembember they can kill and severely injure people, so you should not fly in public areas that are near, by, or in the vicinity of others especially if they are not aware of the danger you the pilot pose to them and their loved ones.
So would it make you happy if I only took my MSR to the AMA field to fly it? Should I wear a helmet, eye protection, groin protector? Where do we stop? Technically you should be wearing goggles and hearing protection when using lawn mowers and hearing protection with vacuum cleaners. Do you do protect the people around you when you use the vacuum cleaner and lawn mower?
In my opinion with your attitude you are definitley going to be part of the problem and not the solution. I understand that you aare refering to your "MSR" however I believe that your attitude is selfish and irresponsible. I can only hope that when or if you purchase something larger you will be less prone to being so reacive to some trying to pass along guidlines for safe flying.
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04-06-2010 03:23 PM  10 years ago
Solmanbandit

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Tucson , AZ

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I don't feel that I am part of the problem. I have crashed many times and have never been even close to anyone. Why? If someone comes around, I move my flying away from them. I understand that accidents happen. I still haven't seen an answer as to what happened to the chinese kid and where was his parents watching him/her? As far as the pilot, he obviously wasn't paying attention if he was with another guy flying. I recently stood near a guy hovering a 600 while troubleshooting a problem at a hobby store(not inside). I personally made sure that I stood behind him if something went wrong. I sure am not going to position myself where I am going to possibly get hurt. The other kid is very sad and not knowing all the details sounds like it could've been prevented.Trex 700E / Trex 500 ESP - Ikon/ HD 500 - Ikon 2/ Goblin 500 Ikon 2
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04-06-2010 03:55 PM  10 years ago
Jgatorman

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Birmingham, AL

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The only point I am attempting to make with my posts are that we have to consider more than just ourselves when we enjoy our hobby. It is are duty as resposible pilots to do everything within our powers to ensure the safety of others when we fly, even more so when we fly on public property than a private AMA field. As I have stated previously while flying on public property it is the pilots sole responsibility to ensure all possible safety is in place. Being we as pilots can not control mechanical or electrical failures, flying around unsuspecting people is not fair to them. I am not trying to be callous but the concern of others in this hobby should far out way the concern for oneself due to the fact that you as a pilot should be aware of the inherent danger of your aicraft and the public is not.

Taking responsibility for ones actions is what will keep our hobby fun and unregulated in the future. There has never been a more appropriate time for all of us in this hobby or future hobbiest to understand this. The costs of owning a 90 size heli has dropped so much anyone almost can afford one. Therefore we must set the propper example to all others before trajic incidents become commonplace.
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04-06-2010 08:58 PM  10 years ago
Solmanbandit

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Tucson , AZ

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that is what I consider a nice reply, thx. To be honest, reading these threads have made me more conscious of the dangers and the need to use the same quality practices that I use in work to maintain a good flying heli. I had a recent lesson on the importance of using loctite when my tail blade grips came off and forced a hard landing. Since then, I do better preflight's prior to flying to ensure that the mechanics is top notch. On a side note, I am still quite curious on what lead up to some of the deaths. On question I have on the one guy is why were they passing the remote while it was flying. A heli requires constant attention and the time while passing a remote can lead to very serious consequences. In this case, a loss of life. In my years of service, I have seen and read of many accidents and deaths. It happens and is very unfortunate. Take care of yourselves and each other. Peace out!Trex 700E / Trex 500 ESP - Ikon/ HD 500 - Ikon 2/ Goblin 500 Ikon 2
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04-06-2010 09:15 PM  10 years ago
Jgatorman

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Birmingham, AL

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The experienced pilot set the heli down then passed transmitter. 2nd death mechanical failure, 3rd death radio lock out I have heard, only hearsay so far,due to the fact I can't read chinese.
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04-06-2010 09:30 PM  10 years ago
Jgatorman

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Birmingham, AL

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Also I once saw a vid on youtube where a youngman was hit in the leg on his calf muscle by a trex 500's blades. The wound was horrific easily 3 or 4 inches deep and approximately 5x5 or 6x6 height and width. It would only take one visual of such incident to have a newfound respect for these machines. We have some old timers at my field that talk about safey issues due to their experiences. Like when a gentleman lost control in a nose in hover and held up his radio to deflect blades and lost fingrers and then turned his back and crouched to protect himself and was severly lacerated across his side and back. Also not to long ago a turbine heli pilot lost all his fingers on one hand from a hot start. Oh and one more I almost forgot a very popular sponcered pilot lost a blade in flight while close to him and found it stuck in his abdomen. So please be safe and due propper maintanence on your helis.
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04-07-2010 08:32 AM  10 years ago
RAPTOR 4D

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GRANGER,IN,-USA

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Just listening to these stories scares the crap out of me.
I dont ever want any issues like the ones here at all
Raptor 50 Titan SE
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